Posts

How to better secure your home for spring

Security for the home is a high priority all year long. But did you know that most crimes occur during the warm weather? How can you better protect your home during the springtime?

 

Keep all areas of your property lit

Well-lit property is a vital factor in dissuading potential burglars. Keep your property lit and bushes and hedges maintained so they don’t afford good hiding places for criminals to lurk unnoticed.
Remember to utilize smart bulbs applied to smart lamps compatible with our Home Automation system. You can set automation rules, schedule, and/or send commands right from your phone to change the lighting around your home.

Mow your lawn and keep outdoor areas tidy

A clean and organized house can help deter potential burglars, as it tells them the house is not vacant. This could be crucial for your outdoor security equipment too, as debris might have built on your cameras and sensors during the winter months. Cleaning them for spring can help keep your security alerts accurate.

Secure your home while your away

Warm weather also means plenty of people will be on vacation, which can induce burglars. Make sure to take the necessary security precautions before you travel.

Invest in high quality locks and deadbolts

Deadbolts should be used for all doorway entrances. Inside chains or latches help protect from potential invaders.

Hire a reputable security company

The most effective security investment you can make is to hire a reputable, knowledgeable security firm. The best security firm can help protect your home 24/7. Entrances, windows, and other vulnerable areas can be continuously monitored by security cameras. Home security and safety can be checked from anywhere, at any time, by computer, laptop, or cell phone. A wireless cellular system also helps protect from the communication disruptions common in disasters. Response time for security emergencies can be much reduced. One security firm fulfills all these requirements: Boyd & Associates.

 

Why choose Boyd & Associates

Since 1967, Boyd & Associates has been providing total security for homes, businesses, and communities of every size and type. We combine advanced systems, responsive service and rigorously trained security teams to create a strong, nimble and formidable force that deters, detects and responds – for total security. It is through our tireless pursuit of perfection and our unwavering commitment to the latest technologies that we have been able to exceed the expectations of industry leaders and homeowners throughout Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County and Riverside County

Video Doorbell vs. Security Camera

During uncertain and changing times, we know you’re not only concerned about home security and crime, but your health as well. At Boyd & Associates, we’re working to keep our offices sanitized and serving our customers over the phone. We’re also committed to providing that extra sense of security that security cameras and video doorbells can provide.

If you’re still choosing between these options, here’s a look at the pros and cons of each to ensure you get the right protection against home burglary, porch pirates, and other threats:

Video Doorbell: Security Camera Built into the Doorbell 

Pros:

  • User-Friendliness: The average consumer can easily use a video doorbell. It runs independently of other equipment and has an intuitive user interface, so is simple to operate and maintain.

 

  • Affordability: Less expensive than a complete security system, it is cheap to purchase and install and requires only one device to be set up.

 

  • Wide-Angle Lens: A wide field of view means you can see people approaching from different angles. Increased coverage means videos can let you identify individuals and motion as someone gets nearby.

 

  • Motion Detection Recording: The camera can start broadcasting images and video footage in response to motion, in addition to turning on when someone rings the bell.

Cons:

  • Limited Application: A video doorbell camera has a fixed field of view and is suited for a single application, such as monitoring your front or patio door.

 

  • Wide-Angle Distortions: The device distorts images at close range because the wide-angle lens is designed to capture as much detail as possible.

Security Camera

Pros:

  • More Coverage: A complete wireless security camera system can provide coverage inside and outside your home. Multiple cameras can be installed and connected so you get more coverage around your property.

 

  • Customization: Cameras can be placed and positioned depending on the areas you want to monitor. There are also housings and mounts available to help protect them. In addition to monitoring and sending alerts, these cameras can be hidden or more visible to help deter potential burglars.

 

  • Better Quality: A surveillance camera system typically offers higher resolution images and improved IR capabilities. The footage captured by a wireless CCTV camera is generally more useful, while the camera’s design is more vandal resistant.

 

  • More Storage: More data storage resources and options mean you can capture and store video footage from multiple cameras, maximizing the benefits you get from the technology.

Cons:

  • Risk Some Personal Privacy: Surveillance cameras are always on the watch, so in addition to burglary, package theft, and other crimes, they’re watching you and your family as well.

 

  • Complex System: The complexity of various components working together can make a surveillance camera system more difficult to install and use. However, a benefit is they can integrate with a smartphone or other mobile device.

 

  • Higher Price Tag: Complete systems are more expensive than other consumer home security equipment. A basic start-up system may be more affordable, but there’s no way around the expense of higher-end systems.

Boyd & Associates Is Open for Business

At Boyd & Associates, we are open for business and continuing to provide vital services to the community. Exempt from the Stay-at-Home mandate, we’re as committed as ever to helping area homes and businesses be safe and secure. Review our coronavirus (COVID-19) update and call us at 805-321-6664 for information or assistance with home security and automation systems, commercial security, and patrol services.

Home Security System & Tracking Your Teenage Children

Parenting teenagers comes with a host of challenges. If your teenager tends to sneak out, come home late at night, or you suspect they hang out with the wrong crowd, you’ll want to keep a closer watch on them. A lack of privacy can strain the parent-child relationship. But smart home security devices can help parents look out for their kids, because:

  • Peer pressure can lead adolescents to make the wrong decisions.
  • Your teen’s best friends may not be people you want in your home.
  • Knowing what’s happening at home can avoid wild parties and protect your family.
  • If your teen is coming home from school, you’re working late, or they’ll be out at night, you’ll have some peace of mind.

How a Home Security System Keeps Your Teenager Safe

Your home security needs depend on the behavior of your child. In general, you’ll want a security system that protects your property day or night. The following home security tech can provide protection and help prevent safety issues.

  • Door and Window Alarms: Receive an alert when someone enters or exits your home. Some alarms require entering a code on a panel to enable and disable them; there are also remotely controlled systems, so your teen cannot control the door alarm.
  • Security Cameras: Outdoor security cameras provide the surveillance needed to monitor what your teenager is doing. An adolescent may find this invasive. However, it enables you to track them and protect them from danger. Cameras are also a good preventative measure if you suspect illicit behavior.
  • Motion Sensors: With motion detection, there’s a greater degree of flexibility. Your teen won’t arrive home or leave undetected, while you can know where they are in the house at any time and leave some rooms off-limits.
  • Video Doorbell: A secure solution, a video doorbell is less invasive than a camera pointing at your child. You can even see when your kids get home or who they invite via your smartphone.
  • Automated Features: Modern alarm systems let you arm and disarm them from your phone or set a schedule. They can alert you if your child is late or forgets to lock the door. Even give your kid their own passcode so they can get in the house when you’re not home.

Additional Solutions to Keep Your Teen Safe

Other tech-age tools you can consider include:

  • GPS Vehicle Trackers: If your teen has just started driving, you can monitor their location, speed, and braking and acceleration habits.
  • Parental Control Apps and Software: Use the app to control the content your teen can access as well as their location, which can ensure they’re safe if late when coming home from school.
  • Online Browser Controls: Install software that manages what your teen can access on the internet. These controls can also protect your child from tech-age threats like phishing and malware.

More Advice on Tracking/Protecting Your Teenager

Alarms are helpful and the sound of one can be useful in an emergency or when you have a misbehaving teen. But to maintain your relationship, including your teen in security plans can streamline communications and reduce stress. Letting your child know how you monitor them can encourage them to be honest. And, collaborating with other parents helps to extend the same measures to your teen’s peers, so there are fewer conflicts of interest.

Is Monitoring Your Teen the Best Strategy?

Close monitoring can backfire psychologically. But it can help catch your teen in a lie or let you call out sneaky behavior. Let them know you’ll follow up through the home security system. When things happen, you can have conversations about how to solve the problem and encourage your child to think about what they did wrong. For behaviors like stealing and sneaking out, you can take more urgent measures, so security technology can help you act in your child’s best interests.

Boost Your Home Security, and the Safety of Teenagers, with Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates offers video surveillance and smart video systems, as well as alarm systems and 24/7 monitoring services, that can help keep your teenage children safe. To learn more and request a free quote, call us today at 805-321-6664.

Do Home Surveillance Cameras Really Deter Crime?

Home surveillance cameras can deter crime, but no system is 100% failproof. A thief may still steal from your home if they don’t notice the camera or see it there but take the risk anyway. But home security cameras represent a multi-billion-dollar industry and the stats show why.

An estimated 1,401,840 home burglaries occurred in 2017, based on data in the 2017 FBI Uniform Crime Report.

There is a great deal of evidence that security cameras deter burglars. Some of the reports that indicate they do include:

  • University of North Carolina’s Department of Justice and Criminology: Of a pool of convicted burglars, 60% said they would start by looking for surveillance cameras; 40% said they’d find another target if cameras were present.

 

  • Electronic Security Association: Data collected from burglars suggest they’d abandon a break-in attempt if there were outdoor cameras, alarms, signs for alarms, or dogs inside a home, among other signs of security at a target property.

 

  • American Management Association: Its Workplace Monitoring and Surveillance report revealed that 82% of managers use some form of electronic monitoring, including security cameras, to protect the workplace against external and internal threats.

How to Boost the Effectiveness of Home Surveillance Cameras

To increase its effectiveness, a security camera must be properly set up. There are things you can do to decrease security risks or if you had a break-in and a surveillance camera was already installed in your home. First, enable push notifications, so you’ll receive instant alerts of any security issue. Also, check if your security system has motion detection recording and make sure this feature is working. Adjusting the sensitivity of motion sensing systems can boost your security as well.

Check the locations of your home surveillance cameras. There should be cameras at every main entrance and near windows or back doors a burglar might use to enter.

Home Surveillance Cameras Work

Law enforcement professionals agree that security cameras are a great way to deter crime. They can provide direct evidence of burglaries, vandalism, and armed robberies as well as employee theft, not to mention more serious offenses like murder. Cameras can deter both external and internal crime, so are effective whether installed outside a building or, for example, inside offices and building common areas.

Modern security camera systems can be connected to a network. If someone breaks into your home and you are away, you can receive an alert on your smartphone from the connected camera. You’ll also have footage of the event, which provides direct evidence of the incident that police can use.

In addition to crime deterrence and the evidence they provide, home surveillance cameras have other benefits. You may get a discount from an insurance company or homeowner’s association by installing one. A camera can also help prevent the theft of packages delivered to your front door. If you can prove theft occurred, you can be more likely to receive a refund or replacement for the stolen item.

Improve Home Security with Boyd & Associates

Video surveillance and other security solutions are available from Boyd & Associates. Our advanced systems include video analytics software that provides automatic alerts. Records of video footage can be searched, while live video can be seen and managed remotely from a smartphone, tablet, or web browser. For improved home security, we also provide advanced burglar alarm systems, alarm monitoring, and patrol and security services. To learn more about our solutions, call us at 805-321-6664.

5 Tips for Planning Your Security Budget

Businesses face all kinds of security risks. Still, security planning can strain an already strapped budget, leading many companies to cut costs starting with their security infrastructure. Planning your security budget appropriately can avoid this; regardless of the percentage of your budget that goes towards security, it is how you allocate your resources that matter most.

 

  1. Perform a Risk Assessment

Evaluate the risks to your business, its data, and facilities. Whether you’re looking at technology assets or the physical security of your office, it’s important to realize just what types of security threats you need to protect your business from. Also, look at the resources you have available. Is your office or facility in a vulnerable location? Are your entrances properly guarded? What types of incidents have occurred in the past, and is your company located in an area prone to specific threats?

 

  1. Choose the Right Security System for Your Business

Once you identify how your business needs to be protected, you can determine the type of security system required and allocate the budget for it. But you need to consider factors such as who has access to your building, whether there are more effective ways to monitor your staff, and if indoor or outdoor security (or both) are needed. Whether your business has one location or is distributed across multiple sites can determine the best security solution as well. You can also enlist a reputable security systems provider to perform an on-site assessment and make suitable recommendations.

 

  1. Encourage a Culture that Embraces Security

Getting everyone involved can improve security from within. This means providing awareness training to employees and rewarding those who comply with your company’s security program, such as reporting incidents in a timely manner. A study by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) found investing in a security culture helps improve company reputation and trust among customers. Increased revenue was another effect observed, so you can see how planning your security budget can go a long way for your business.

 

  1. Hire and Train Security Professionals

Finding, hiring, and training the right people can help you get more out of your security budget. It also helps to train people in your organization. Recruiting your existing employees saves time; plus, they’re already knowledgeable about your business and likely its security needs. You might find someone who didn’t consider a security career before, but who has the right skills.

 

  1. Invest in Business Security Services

If your building’s security needs improvement, an outside security provider may be the best place to look. They can provide an on-site assessment and make recommendations for securing your facility. Building security assets such as video surveillance, alarms, patrols, and even remote monitoring can be provided at a cost that fits your budget.

Video surveillance is the leading trend in security because it now includes high-definition video, audio, and playback that can be accessed remotely. However, there are many types of security cameras and working with a provider can help select one that meets your business’s needs.

Trust Boyd & Associates for Your Security Needs

We are leading experts in video surveillance, intrusion detection, and access control systems. Patrol services are available and provided by experienced security officers. Trusted for business and home security and automation, Boyd & Associates can work with you to choose the right security assets and plan your security budget. Our specialty is total security, enabled by industry-leading expertise and the latest technologies. To learn more, call 888-919-3326.

5 Holiday Security Tips for Businesses

Retail and commercial theft remains a significant problem in the U.S. The 31st Annual Retail Theft Survey from Jack L. Hayes International, Inc. found more than 279,000 instances of theft involving shoplifters and employees at 20 large retail companies, in 2018. The loss prevention/inventory shrinkage control consulting firm also revealed one out of every 40 employees was apprehended for theft.

Theft (including shoplifting), fraud, and other crimes increase during the seasonal spike in holiday shopping. Stealing can lead to significant losses at any store or office. Here are five security tips to help your business improve its loss prevention strategy:

Combat Employee Theft

Employee theft accounts for more inventory shrinkage than shoplifting, administrative error, and vendor fraud. A cashier may pocket change that shoppers don’t wait around for, while a sales associate may refund an unpurchased item and add its value to a gift card. There are many possible scenarios involving staff, but these precautions can help:

  • Balance the cash register after each employee’s shift
  • Rotate employee assignments
  • Compare daily receipts to items sold
  • Schedule frequent physical inventories
  • Conduct random sales audits

Reduce the Threat of Shoplifting

It’s harder to track customers who shoplift than employees who steal. They’re less easily recognized, but you can put at-risk items closer to the checkout counter to monitor them. Also, place desirable items where there’s a good line of sight. Store managers should greet customers and make their presence known, paying careful attention to people with bags, strollers, and carriages. Other precautions include posting shoplifter prosecution policies and using electronic tags detected by sensing devices at the front door.

Take Extra Security Precautions

Additional security precautions include:

  • Installing security CCTV cameras that can provide proof of theft and enable you to report a thief to law enforcement.
  • Hiring a background-checked, trained security officer who can deter and catch shoplifters in the act.
  • Ensuring your store is well lit and that inventory is well-organized.
  • Locking dressing rooms so customers must interact with retail staff.
  • Creating a clear anti-shoplifting policy to post in dressing rooms and other highly visible areas.

Review Surveillance Information 

Having a surveillance system is not enough. You must proactively monitor it; to do this, double check security cameras to ensure they’re working and capturing potential criminal activity. If not, reposition video surveillance cameras. If there are decorations and other obstructions on your commercial property, check for, remove, or reposition them so cameras, alarm systems, or motion detectors aren’t blocked.

Monitoring your live feed is also important. These days, feeds can be conveniently accessed via mobile phone apps and remote video monitoring services provided by security companies. Consider revising your alarm notification list and submitting it to the company as well. Your intrusion alarm service provider will then know who to contact during an emergency.

Encourage Employee Vigilance

Train employees to spot and report suspicious activity. You can improve office security by training workers to react to any strangers in the office building. For example, if a suspicious individual is on the property, code words can be used to relay someone is watching them or it’s believed theft is occurring. Using tenant security activity scheduling unlocks offices only when enough employees are present to supervise an area and offer adequate protection. Access control is reactivated later in the day to lock vulnerable areas.

Work with a Private Security Company

Boyd & Associates, the largest family owned security company in Southern California, provides advanced security and burglar alarm systems as well as commercial patrol, intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance services. To learn more, request a free quote online or call 888-907-1659.